Artificial Intelligence, Bandwidth, And Generative Game Design

PC Gamer UK’s latest issue will be on the shelves on the 27th, and should arrive before then for subscribers. You might be interested in the Napoleon Total War cover feature, but there’s also a little feature by me. It looks like this:

And that clicks up to a larger size.

Beyond that dashing first spread is a beautifully arranged feature in which I talk about the futurism of Ray Kurzweil, the science fiction of Charles Stross, and the forward-thinking technical wizardry of Eskil Steenberg. All these people have something to say about the possible future of videogames, and I’ve tried to extract their most interesting implications.

…the future of games is one in which software will have to find solutions for the enormous problems that following the curve of increasing hardware sophistication has presented us with. “The examples of how things that used to be simple have now become hard are numerous. Dwarf Fortress and similar games give a hint to where games would be, if graphics and sounds didn’t stand in our way,” says Steenberg.

It is a futurist’s gaming feature, and something of a blue-sky gaming feature, detached from the normal constraints of worrying about contemporary gaming. It’s the kind of subject I’d love to extrapolate upwards into a book: “the next thirty years of gaming”. Until I do, you should go out and buy the magazine.

In this instance I only look at three future-invoking people, and cover a few subjects related to them: the effect of wireless bandwidth on gaming, the effect of AI on our experience of gaming, and the possibilities for AI and generative systems in the creation of games. There’s a fair bit to be said about that, of course, but it leads elsewhere – off into the strange realms of ubiquitous gaming that tantalises the imagination. A world where games are the dominant form of culture, and the dominant mode of expression. A medium in which human and artificial intelligences meet and play.

I’m rather pleased with how it all came together. And now I realise the subject is due another 50,000 words and a dozen more interviews. Oh, won’t someone commission me?


5 Responses to “Artificial Intelligence, Bandwidth, And Generative Game Design”

  • The_B Says:

    Actually Jim, it’s not due on store shelves until next Thursday, the 27th.

  • The_B Says:

    Having read it (but err… only just remembering to comment on it) I must say it was bloody good Jim, although was disappointed at the news on Jetpacks. :(

  • Chris Evans Says:

    Very good read Jim, really interesting insights into what lies ahead for gaming!

  • David Kidd Says:

    “And now I realise the subject is due another 50,000 words and a dozen more interviews.”

    Definitely a book here. Pitch!

  • mandaya Says:

    I don’t want to sound like a fanboy here, but in case you haven’t done so, really DO check out Dwarf Fortress. It is one of the most fascinating games ever made (and I don’t use that phrase lightly.) You can take Steenberg’s word for it, it really IS a glimpse into gaming of decades to come. with graphics of decades long gone, obviously.